The Yosemite Conservancy on Tuesday unveiled its lineup of Outdoor Adventures for 2013, giving visitors an opportunity to experience the park's back country, wilderness, geology, art and culture in small groups led by renowned experts.
"Professional photographers, artists, naturalists and historians lead our Outdoor Adventures to provide visitors of all ages and wilderness experience levels with an unforgettable experience in Yosemite National Park," Mike Tollefson, president of the Yosemite Conservancy, said in a press release.
More than 45 Outdoor Adventures are being offered in 2013, spanning the entire park geography. Each adventure is limited to 15 participants. Proceeds from Outdoor Adventures are poured into restoration and protection work the conservancy supports at the park.
This year, the conservancy added more dates for popular programs that usually sell out, such as backpacking trips to Half Dome and Cloud's Rest, which Tollefson said are "perfect for first-time backpackers in good shape."
For less-traveled routes, there is a backpacking excursion to Lyell Glacier, in what's described as an exhilarating opportunity to experience a glacier in the park. Another hike involves viewing and learning about the park's incredible wildflowers.
Photography programs with noted experts such as Keith Walklet, John Senser and Dave Wyman focus on capturing Yosemite's changing seasonal splendor, rainbows that occur at night known as "moonbows," high-country waterfalls and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, according to the release.
Other programs include family camping and nature explorations in Tuolumne Meadows, learning about Yosemite's 11 species of woodpeckers, sketching in watercolor and learning to weave a Miwok-Paiute Indian basket.
There's even a day hike in Yosemite Valley exploring where John Muir lived and worked. Muir's great-great grandson and a Muir actor lead the hike.
Custom adventures are available for groups, families or individuals, ranging from gentle one-hour hikes to challenging treks.
Register for an Outdoor Adventure or inquire about a customized experience at www.YosemiteConservancy.org/Adventures or by calling (209) 379-2646, ext. 10.